Updated: Aug 16
Staying on top of work agendas is satisfying, but studies suggest that stepping away from that to-do list that’s the length of a Russian novel has critical personal and professional benefits.
In 2020 our personal spaces have morphed into offices. Bedrooms have become boardrooms. Dining rooms have become communal co-working spaces. “Forty-five percent of U.S. employees say they are burnt out,” according to New Eagle Hill Consulting research. Work has invaded the home, and it’s stressing us out.
To combat the tornado of personal and professional stress ripping through your anxiety threshold, put on your Out of Office for a few hours. Shutting down the laptop and switching off the work phone could help reduce stress. And don’t worry about missing anything, or falling behind. “Brain imaging studies show that doing nothing, being idle, daydreaming, and relaxing create alpha waves in the brain that are key to creative insights and innovative breakthroughs,” reports Berkeley University’s Greater Good.
We may occasionally feel guilty for taking a lunch longer than the sandwich lasts, but it’s imperative for both our personal well-being and the accuracy of our work that we do. One of the secrets to keeping employees happy is acknowledging the importance of regular breaks, which is one of the wellness metrics HR should measure. Here are a few benefits to stepping away from the desk, promoting positive mental health at work, ensuring work-life balance and holidays without burning out.
Higher work quality
When you’re burned out, so is your work ethic. Hours may be spent staring at a blinking cursor on an Excel spreadsheet instead of curating riveting reports. Instead of staring into the abyss of percentages, do something invigorating. The APA writes that “working adults reported that following time off, they were more productive (58 percent) and their work quality was better (55 percent).” Slip away to attend a virtual concert in your living room. Or just take a short break to listen to music for every mood at work. You’ll return to work ready to rock.
Because of remote work, workers are averaging an additional 3.13 hours of overtime per day. The emails keep rolling in and without a train to catch home, why not answer one or ten more? Resist the urge to respond and build your commute back in. “Walking is a form of active leisure that’s known to reduce stress, so it’s a good idea to find ways to deliberately build some walking back into your day,” according to Harvard Business Review. Get those steps in.
Positive energy and productivity
Shuffling from bed to desk may have resulted in the occasional huff and puff. A negative mindset is perpetuated by not taking the occasional mental sorbet. Take an hour or three to check off personal to-do list items and return to your workload with a refreshed mindset. “Nearly 70% of workers experience an increase in positive energy and mood after taking a vacation, and 60% feel more productive,” reports Fast Company. A vacation to a part of your neighborhood you haven’t frequented may be just what the manager ordered.
Your original ideas that make you the rockstar of the boardroom may feel like they’re falling flat these days. Spark inspiration by taking a long weekend. Sit in the midst of the mountains with nothing on the agenda but to reset. According to Science Daily, “backpackers scored 50 percent better on a creativity test after spending four days in nature disconnected from electronic devices, according to a study by psychologists from the University of Utah and University of Kansas.” You’ll return to work with a slew of inspired hits.
Breaking the habit of jumping from the bed into your inbox could result in better health. Turn off the alarm and sleep in or wake up slowly with a sunrise showing and a steaming mug of coffee. “Beyond reportedly enhancing one’s learning, memory, and retention, and lessening the risk of disease or injury, sufficient sleep generally makes people more relaxed [and] less anxious,” according to Deloitte. Catch up on a symphony of Zzzs to be a better, healthier you.
Embracing short breaks ensures that your personal well-being is upheld and your professional work remains unmatched. Take a few hours to invest in yourself. Your company will be better for it.
Sorbet is a first-of-its-kind employee wellness platform for the new normal that encourages and incentivizes professionals to make the most of their Paid Time Off. Our AI-generated personalized Time Off Optimizer empowers professionals to take meaningful time off to destress, recharge, avoid burnout, and improve performance. For more information about Sorbet, visit https://www.getsorbet.com/.